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Restaurants in Galveston

  • j

Can anyone provide me with a list of good restaurants in Galveston? Responses that mention the Kemah Boardwalk or Joe's Crab Shack will be ignored.

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  1. Don't know if you have any "contacts" in Galveston, but most people in the know believe that the "best restaurant in Galveston" is the Pelican Club.

    Which is private.

    Because they want to keep out those pesky tourists.

    1. Seafood: Gaido's or Saltwater Grill if you want to be a bit upscale; Fish Tales or a little place on a side street that I think is called Shrimp n' Stuff (correct me if I'm wrong, somebody), for more casual dining.
      Very casual post-beach food: Cafe Michael Burger (we like the fried mushrooms)

      For Mexican, my husband likes the Original Mexican Cafe a lot; I think it's just OK.

      For Italian, we liked Luigi's the one time we went, but that was several years ago.

      1. DiBella's for Italian, hands down; but bring cash--no credit cards accepted. There is a shrimp and pepperoncini dish that makes my taste buds tingle just thinking about it. IMHO Benno's has some of the best seafood on the island (stone crab claws are worth the trip when in season, and blue crabs are always a winner), but I am partial to Shrimp-n-Stuff for an oyster and shrimp po-boy lubricated with Negra Modelo on their most excellent palm shaded deck on a Sunday afternoon. I am NOT a Gaido's fan, but have dined at the Pelican Club. Be aware that none of the above except Benno's are easy to find and you will definitely need good directions but these are some of the gems to be found in Galveston if you sift through the silt.

        2 Replies
        1. re: Dino

          Agree with Benno's. On the seawall, order at the counter, sit in the restaurant or on the deck.

          1. re: Dino

            I'll second DiBella's. It's a real Galvestonian favorite (and well-kept secret) and the seating, Catholic high school pics on the walls, large families and overall atmosphere make New Jersey/New York Italian restaurant lovers feel they're back home.

          2. My parents turned us on to Shearn's Restaurant, on the top of the Moody Gardens Hotel. It's the ideal special occasion restaurant to us...great food, nice wine selection, incredible service, along with one of the best views on the island. A real treat.

            Link: http://www.moodygardens.com/hotel/din...

            1. no frills, clean place with friendly staff and great fried seafood! see link for menu/site

              Link: http://www.galveston.com/cajungreek/m...

              1. If you DO somehow manage to get into the Pelican Club - order the Crabmeat au Gratin -

                Fresh, sweet crabmeat topped with a sublime sauce.

                Food doesn't get any better.

                1. Shrimps and Stuff is where one goes to get a fix of fried shrimp, fish, oysters, and pretty good gumbo, all served on and with plastic. It's fresh, fast, very tasty, and inexpensive. The locals swear by it. Find it at the corner of 39th and O 1/2 (Or near there, anyway - I always have to cruise to find it).

                  The Tremont Hotel has a good Sunday breakfast in the lobby, to the accompaniment of a wonderfully talented pianist who should not be missed.

                  My personal favorite restaurant story concers Clary's on Tiechman Rd. I ate there a few years ago and was a bit put off by the atmosphere. Looking around, I saw nothing but elderly white diners - blue and white haired polyester wearing ones at that - being served by Black waiters and busboys. The scene was right out of the segregated south of the '50s. What a southern sunday after church scene - or so I thought.

                  Was I shocked to meet the owner, Clary, on the way out! He's an elegent Black guy, in his 60s - as nice a guy as you could ask for, friendly, and very knowledgable and curious about anything connected to food. What a pleasent surprise, completely destroying my (Prejudiced?) concept of Galveston in the year 2000! I hope that he is like Liberace - laughing all the way to bank...

                  Some 20 years ago I was tempted to move back to Houston when my sisters promised to take me Gaido's onece a week, should I return. I did, but have not been back to Gaido's since. They owe me big time!

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: avi

                    ~~ "Was I shocked to meet the owner, Clary, on the way out!" - Avi ~~

                    Clary used to be the maitre d' at the private Pelican Club - which is mentioned above - until he quit to open his own restaurant.

                    He is a much-beloved fellow on Galveston Island.

                    1. re: ChrissieH

                      Having talked with him several time, I can assure you that his popularity is well deserved!

                  2. Phoenix Bakery -- good breakfasts.
                    Mosquito Cafe -- kinda new-agey but interesting and unusual. Lots of vegetarian items.
                    Saltwater Grill -- minimalist, but high quality. Excellent gumbo.
                    The Steakhouse at the San Luis Hotel -- unexpectedly good (and very formal) steak place . . . but who eats steak in Galveston?
                    Gaido's -- rebounded after a long slump. Real *red* snapper. Prix fixe dinners are a good value.

                    1. On Broadway there are a couple places I like. one is the Andouille sausage place. I forget the name but you can get some good sausage and gumbo there. Its more of a takeout joint but the food is damn good. not far from there is the donut shop in a little blue run down building. The best thing to get there is a "Bronco" taco. These are breakfast tacos with everythig on them.
                      Another favorite of mine is Rudy and Paco's in the strand area.